Tag Archives: nature

The bees are disappearing – a lesson on life

It seems that the most arrogant of creatures, erroneously titled “homo sapiens sapiens” (the doubly wise human, supposedly), who is proving daily that cleverness does not equal wisdom, may have set in motion a process (among many others) that, if it continues, may eradicate one of nature’s marvels, the honey bee (Apis Mellifera). And not…

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Ecuador, ‘our rainforest’ and growing money on trees

It was an incredibly bold plan to begin with, and heart-breaking when it failed. Rather than drill for oil in the Yasuni rainforest, Ecuador would keep the forest intact and biodiversity flourishing in exchange for compensation of $3.6 billion. That’s roughly half of what the country would have made if the drilling went ahead. Earlier this…

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Turkey: The last green space

In one of its earliest reports on the turmoil that is ripping through Turkish cities, CNN highlighted an apparent paradox: How the anti-government protests that are now being compared to the Arab Spring were sparked by a “trivial” matter: The destruction of Gezi Park in the centre of Istanbul. Gezi Park is the last remaining…

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Time is running out – even Charles of Wales is worried

When Britain’s Prince of Wales shows clear signs of agitation at world leaders’ curious paralysis in the face of the rapid deterioration of planetary ecological conditions, it should send a message to everyone concerned. And that means every human being on the planet, where humans are (supposedly) the custodians of planetary “health” but have been…

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The mystery of the birds with the weird feet

It’s something that’s bothered me for years. Oh, I forget about it and obsess over other things, like why all the women in CSI Miami have uniformly fabulous long hair when they work with evidence from crime scenes (have they not heard of the scrunchie?) and that weird Moroccan dude who walks around Sandton City…

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Going after ‘extreme oil’ is extremely irresponsible

The emerging information on the quest for what is referred to as “extreme oil” is worrying in the extreme. And it is very bad news for other creatures on the planet, especially those who live in the oceans, judging by the information clip sent to me by the Care2 petition site, to which I subscribe…

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Beyond protecting the environment: Ensuring life support

Several recent reports on a variety of things have made me return to an important book by Thomas Princen, Treading Softly – on which I have written here before. The news items that caught my eye covered different, but related topics. Two of them focused on court cases involving big oil companies – Chevron and…

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An exceptional South African thinker

In 1995 one of the best loved, most down-to-earth and wisest of South Africa’s thinkers, the philosopher Marthinus Versfeld died at an advanced age. If anyone thought that philosophers must of necessity always have their “heads in the clouds” of abstract thought – like the ancient Greek philosopher Thales, who once fell into a well…

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The ‘economistic worldview’ and the destruction of life

In his important recent book Treading Softly – Paths to Ecological Order (see my earlier post on it) — Thomas Princen distinguishes among four “worldviews” in relation to the environment, that is, four different ways of “perceiving and conceiving and making sense of one’s world” (pg 164) within what he terms “the current industrial, commercial…

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We’ll need two planets by 2030

At the beginning of his latest book, Treading Softly: Paths to Ecological Order, American ecological scholar Thomas Princen quotes from the Living Planet Report of 2008: “Our global [ecological] footprint now exceeds the world’s capacity to regenerate by about 30%. If our demands on the planet continue at the same rate, by the mid-2030s we…

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